In a return quicker than expected, the Vegas Golden Knights (13-10) could welcome back William Karlsson to the lineup tonight against the Calgary Flames (15-4-5).
Karlsson suffered a broken foot and was scheduled to miss six weeks in recovery as of Nov. 2. He was also in COVID-19 protocols. However, the center skated with the team in full-contact gear during Sunday’s morning skate and is a game-time decision per Golden Knights head coach Peter DeBoer.
“I would say game-time decision and that he is close. He has only skated for a couple of days. The injury that he had was non-weigh bearing so he literally has not been on his feet until the last seven days and on the ice for the last three or four.”
“If he does play then we will have to be careful to limit him and that is not easy to do with him because he is such of an easy guy to play,” said Golden Knights head coach Peter DeBoer on Karlsson.
Karlsson was not the only injured Golden Knight to appear at practice though. Nolan Patrick was seen skating in a red no-contact jersey. Patrick’s timetable is still unknown and with Karlsson likely off the IR just him, Alec Martinez, and Jack Eichel remain out for the Golden Knights.
The Golden Knights will take on the Pacific Division-leading Calgary Flames for the first time this season. Despite being in the same division these two teams will only meet three times in the regular season as opposed to the usual four matchups. Robin Lehner is expected to start for the Golden Knights.
The Flames are led by ‘Johnny Hockey’ Gaudreau who has 27 points in 24 games. Andrew Mangiapane has 16 goals in 24 games and is tied for third in the NHL. The goaltending tandem of Jakob Markstrom and Daniel Vladar has been superb for the Flames. They have a combined seven shutouts together. Markstrom is expected to get the start as Vladar played last game against the Ducks.
They’ve obviously had a good year. I mean, they’re playing well. I think they’re playing with their depth too. Goaltending has been really good for them which is something we talked about this morning. We expect them to be tight defensively and just knowing who coaches over there (Darryl Sutter) his teams are always tight defensively,” said Alex Pietrangelo.
Special teams will once again play a huge role in the game as the Flames are both the NHL’s fifth-best powerplay and penalty kill. With Max Pacioretty at the forefront of it, the Golden Knights powerplay is starting to show some life with three goals in the past two games. The Golden Knights also lead the league with six shorthanded goals.
PROJECTED VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS LINES
Max Pacioretty- Chandler Stephenson- Mark Stone
Jonathan Marchessault- William Karlsson- Reilly Smith
Mattias Janmark- Nicolas Roy- Evgenii Dadonov
William Carrier- Adam Brooks- Keegan Kolesar
Nicolas Hague– Alex Pietrangelo
Shea Theodore- Zach Whitecloud
Brayden McNabb- Dylan Coghlan
Robin Lehner/Laurent Brossoit
Vegas Golden Knights Special Teams:
Special Teams: 15.09% powerplay (25th) and 83.33% penalty kill (14th).
PP1: Stone, Stephenson, Dadonov, Theodore, Pacioretty
PP2: Smith, Karlsson, Marchessault, Pietrangelo, Hague
PK1: Stephenson, Smith, McNabb, Pietrangelo
PK2: Howden, Janmark, Hague, Hutton
IR: Jack Eichel, Nolan Patrick, Alec Martinez.
PROJECTED CALGARY FLAMES LINES PER PUCKPEDIA
Johnny Gaudreau- Elias Lindholm- Matthew Tkachuk
Milan Lucic- Mikael Backlund- Andrew Mangiapane
Blake Coleman- Sean Monahan- Trevor Lewis
Dillon Dube- Brad Richardson- Tyler Pitlick
Noah Hanifin- Rasmus Andersson
Oliver Kylington- Chris Tanev
Nikita Zadorov- Erik Gudbranson
Jacob Markstrom/Daniel Vladar
Calgary Flames Special Teams:
Special Teams: 25.76% powerplay (5th) and 76.49% penalty kill (5th).
PP1: Tkachuk, Monahan, Gaudreau, Lindholm, Andersson
PP2: Lucic, Backlund, Mangiapane, Kylington, Hanifin
PK1: Backlund, Lindholm, Tanev, Gudbranson
PK2: Lewis, Coleman, Hanifin, Andersson
How to Watch/Listen: 7:00 pm on ESPN+ and Fox Sports 98.9 FM.